Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

This is such and old card. I made it many years ago using Dimensional Paper Paints and a card kit from the Tulip company. I finally decided to part with this cutie that has been in my card stash for far too long - but I traced the bunny shape first in case I ever wanted to make another hopping bunny shaped card !

If you haven't seen my Long Legged Chick Treat Boxes that are in the background, check them out (with step by step photos, too!) here.

Happy Easter !

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Secret Garden Scrapbook Pages

If you have been reading through my blog posts lately,
you may remember a few days ago I was 
lamenting about how long a particular page took
me to make 
(and that I am no scrapbooker, this is new to me).

These are the two pages that took HOURS to make!

I just could not get the flowers to look right.

I water colored them.

I added glitter to them.

I went through several different colors of ink.

They all looked bad to me, I was not happy with them.

Once I decided to just keep it simple with ink
an white card stock 
and a little bit of cutting,
I couldn't get them to look right when
layering them on top of each other 
on top of the lattice die cuts... argh !

I think I should have perhaps tried 
embossing the line art flowers
with white embossing powder on colored card stock
before layering them over the white Lattice die cut pieces.
Maybe too much white is what makes it
look "off" to me ? 
Of course that is the one thing I didn't try !

In the end I used Sage Shadow,
Regal Rose, 
Almost Amethyst and
So Saffron inks from Stampin' Up!
(I think those are the colors I ended up using !).

Each of the flowers was stamped with the
both of which are currently available
from Stampin' Up!

with the Lattice die, Stampin' Up!

The background paper came from an old
Die Cuts With  A view paper stack.

Next I'll share a card I made with 
some of the unused pieces from these pages.

I am entering this in the Anything But A Card Challenge 15.

Thanks for looking =) 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Chick Box Die Cut/Punch Art Project

All items used were from Stampin' Up!
Some items may no longer be available, 
but there are other items that will work in their place.

Summer Sun, Only Orange, Basic Black and Whisper White card stock
1/4" circle punch
Star punch

orange crinkle paper - came in a box with
the scissors I was gifted from Fiskars

Before you begin, decide which side you want
facing outwards, the side that will show more.
There is a slightly different look to each side
of the scallop envelope die cut.

Fold side tabs in and adhere to each other.

Fold the large bottom portion of the envelope die cut,
the side with no decorative "score" marks,
in on each other to create the bottom and glue in place.

Cut the scalloped circle (I used a flower) in half
and attach the top part to each side of the box
to create wings.

Trim the triangles down, make tabs to attach to the face 
and score down the center to help
bend them into a beak shape.

This shows how I attached the beak to the face.
(I think I should have used a smaller punch for the 
whites of the eyes.......)

I used the large star punch for feet,
but there are so many other shapes that would work.
You could also hand cut feet with scissors.
Attach with sticky strip.

Fill the skinny cellophane bags with your choice of small treats
and attach to the bottom of the chick box with sticky strip. 

I'll put little treats in these cute boxes to give to my nephews for Easter this year.

Thanks for looking =) 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

New Mom and Baby First Portrait Scrapbook Pages

This is my first two page spread for the old 
portraits scrapbook album I decided to make. 
Sadly, these are the first studio portraits taken with
my baby, when she wasn't such a wee baby ! 
It's even more sad to know that there
are only a couple of professional photos taken with
my children and I. I probably don't have a dozen
candid shots total either since I was the one behind the camera.

Gorgeous double sided papers, card stocks.
Pretties flowers, scalloped edge heart die , 
Texturz plates, paper piercer and piercing template,
Bigz XL scallop edge die are all from Stampin' Up!
ribbons are from my stash
large scalloped edge circle punch, EK Success

You can't see it in these photos, 
but the strips of brown card stock and die cut heart
have slight texture to them from running through
Texturz plates. 
I probably should have lightly spritzed the paper with water 
(or maybe alcohol) before running it through the Big Shot/Texturz plate.
Doing that may have given the embossing more depth.

That very thin strip of brown decorative paper is the strip I trimmed
off of the 12 x 12 pink piece of decorative paper, flipped over.
The sheet protectors are 12  x  11 7/8 so all of the pages need to
be trimmed slightly to fit. 

I hand cut the brown heart frame because the hearts 
dies I had were not the right size.

Thanks for looking =) 

Friday, March 22, 2013

I Am NOT A Scrapbooker

with that being said, I will be sharing my attempts at creating scrapbook pages. They aren't too fancy or creative, then again there isn't a lot one can do to a 12 x 12 scrapbook page that is already filled up with a 10 x 13 (trimmed to 12") or 8 x 10 photo to begin with.

The old portraits of my children have been in a 12 x 12 album for several years. Prior to that they were stored in the paper envelopes that they were given to me in from the portrait studio. At the time I was unable to find a photo album that was large enough to keep 10x13 portrait sheets in so I decided to trim them down a bit to fit in a regular 12x12 scrapbook. The photos won't ever go on display again anyway so trimming off a little bit didn't hurt, especially since it didn't cut into anything important on the photo.

I've never made a scrapbook album for any of our photos. The closest I've come to traditional paper crafted scrapbooking are the Memory Boxes and framed pieces I made for the pets. You can see those projects posted to my blog.

This is the year I am finally going to put my paper crafting supplies to use for personal projects and to try my hand at scrapbooking. I'm not so sure I will make more albums after this huge project is completed though,  it is time consuming ! Today I spent HOURS working on two pages, I just could not get the embellishments I was making to work right. I'll share those pages later. Yes, there is a reason why what few scrapbook page projects I have made are digital: soooooooooooooooooo much easier, less messy, less waste of product, less time consuming since I don't need to drag things out and put them away as I am creating. If you are interested, click on the My Digital Studio or My Memories Suite labels on my sidebar to be taken to the few digital projects I have made and shared.

I know, I know: "Quit your rambling and show us a scrapbook page already !" So, drum roll please, here is my very first 12 x 12 scrapbook page I made to keep for myself !

This is a really simple page.
Well, punching the eyelet border was a pain,
the paper punch wasn't cooperating most of the time
so I had to trim the pieces a bit to make them look better.

I kept it simple and as flat as possible. I've never made my own scrapbook,
I have always wondered if adding lots of bulky embellishments
would end up dimpling the photos that are next to them. 
These are the only copies I have of the portraits so I don't 
want to ruin them. 
I did scan them on my Canoscan 9000F before scrapbooking,
but they are not the best scans. I should have spent time
tweaking the scans some before scrapping the photos. 

Pretty In Pink 12 x 12 card stock from Stampin' Up!
eyelet border punch from Stampin' Up!
drafting vellum (HUGE pieces of a vellum
type of paper I was given years ago)
baby blue satin ribbon from Offray
( I have so many rolls of that ribbon from my 
crafting days way back when)

Thanks for looking =) 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Of Mice and ME .........

image from istockphoto

Eeeeeks !  There are mice in the house !!!! As of this writing I have managed to catch and release (by my own methods with a little help from Kitty) three wee mice in the last 24 hours. I am hoping that there are no more, but am well aware that mice can have nearly a dozen babies in one litter ! I haven't noticed Kitty on the prowl the rest of the day (probably because the mice are sleeping since they are nocturnal). Then again, maybe she doesn't want to catch any since I keep taking away her "toys" ?

It all started at 9:30 last night when she brought the first one up to me and dropped it at my feet. I initially thought it was a really large bug, but quickly found out otherwise. I was unable to catch the mouse, it ended up falling into the cold air return vent, wonderful. She caught another in the basement at 10:30, I was able to catch that one by dropping a plastic container over it upside down , trapping it (those little guys are FAST and squeak quite loudly!!!!). I slid cardboard under it, put on thick ski type gloves then carefully lifted the contraption up, keeping pressure on it so the little critter wouldn't escape. I carried it out to the field near a pile of wood. Entering back into the house she had ANOTHER mouse cornered in the basement, but that one got away, running along the wall where a bunch of stuff was in the way. I gave up and went to bed at nearly 1 AM.

7 AM  Kitty had one for me, this one was stunned or hurt so it didn't move very quickly, easy to catch and take out to the woodpile.

I ran out and bought two live catch traps first thing this morning and set them as soon as I caught and carried yet another mouse out to the woodpile, this one was upstairs in the hall at Kittys feet when I walked in the door. Say what they want about my old fat cat, but she can still catch critters.

Neither live catch trap has gone off the entire day, of course mice are nocturnal by nature which would explain in part why I've not seen them when I am down in the craft dungeon during the day the past week while working. Then again, maybe the mice are too smart to enter it or are too small, lightweight to trip it or perhaps they are not interested in peanut butter when there is cat food available. I did make sure the container I store it in is tightly sealed now, can you imagine me slipping my hand in to get food and have little mice jumping out !??! There is also the possibility that I don't have the traps set in the right area of the basement: perhaps where I have seen the mice is where Kitty dropped them off to play with and show me. I have after all not ever seen any signs of mice living in the basement in the area I frequent.... Geesh, I don't want to think about this too much. I've never, ever had baby mice in the house and only had a couple of mice (lizards and a snake, too) over the 14 years I've lived here. I guess this is another sign that I do indeed need more pets, although Kitty certainly alerted me to the mice and did her part to catch them (ummm, play with them) she isn't able to keep on top of the problem alone. Sigh, makes me miss my Mulligan and Ringo cats even more and Cassie dog, too. This should make for an interesting week ahead. Ah, the joys of living in the country !

What have I been working on in the craft dungeon that I made reference to ? I started to do some scrapbooking, working on my very first real traditional paper crafted scrapbook album... I may not finish though, what a HUGE, time consuming project ! I will share photos soon of the few pages I have managed to complete before discovering the new residents in the basement.

The below information was found at

Country Mouse

The country mouse is also known as the field mouse. They are most commonly gray or white in color, although some specimens may be brown or black. Country mice are nocturnal in nature and eat a variety of foods, including fruit, carrion and rotting vegetables.
Country mice are fast, small and highly intelligent when compared with other mice. However, they are not good at defending themselves from predators and most specimens do not live more than two years. Researchers are unsure of the country mouse’s life span in natural conditions, as studied specimens tend to be consumed before they die of natural causes. Birds, snakes, foxes, rabbits and other rodents are common country mouse predators.
Despite their vulnerability to predators, country mice populations remain steady. Females reproduce every month and give birth to a number of young each time. Upon reaching maturity, country mice immediately seek mates. Country mice also reach maturity at a faster rate than most other mouse species.

Field Mouse

Field mice are characteristically small rodents. As their name implies, they are most common in fields. Field mice may also be found dwelling in the plains, forests and in old, rural homes. They are cousins to the rat and possess some of the same physical characteristics. Field mice are brown, black or white in color and feature long, hairless tails. Field mice also have sharp claws. However, field mice are smaller than rats. They are also extremely intelligent.
Field mice are scavengers that will feed on any food available to them. These mice are prey to cats, dogs, bears, wolves, snakes, owls and rabbits. Nocturnal in nature, they are cautious and only venture outside after having fully-assessed the situation at hand. Field mice use their coats as camouflage, blending in with rocks or dried leaves. Despite this, these mice are rarely successful at eluding their predators. Most field mice are eaten before they reach their second year.
Field mice mate more often than other mice. Females tend to be pregnant at least once a month. During the pregnancy, only the male goes out in search of food. Baby field mice are born blind, bald and deaf. However, within three weeks, they will have reached maturity and begun mating.

Happy Spring !

It certainly is not spring like here this year. In fact, the temperatures are going to plummet into the teens over night tonight ! I'm afraid this may be as close to blooming as these particular flowers are going to get this year. What a change from last year when at this time we had already seen record breaking warm temperatures in the 80's !

On a positive note, we have been receiving quite a bit of rain and will see more this weekend. Another big difference from last year when we experienced a severe drought, one of the worst in our states history.

Happy Spring !

Monday, March 18, 2013

Need For Speed Cards

Here are two more Need For Speed (Stampin' Up! stamp set) cards I made recently. 
They are pretty simple and made with supplies form Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted.

Textured gray , Whisper White, Poppy Parade, YoYo Yellow, Basic Black, Silver metallic card stocks and inks / markers
"Diamond plate" paper is actually a piece of scratch paper from a  notepad
White craft ink
Two circle punches
Happy Thoughts (?) stamp set, retired

The punched "wheel and tire" greeting isn't exactly where I wanted to place it, but because I smudged ink on the white card stock, I decided to adhere it there to cover it up rather than make an entire new stamped and colored car piece.

Thanks for looking  =) 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Punch Art Spring Holidays Card

I took the easy way out this year and made one card to cover three spring events:
St. Patrick's Day, First Day Of Spring and Easter. 

I'm not sure how easy of an out it was though, 
working with those tiny punched pieces of card stock !

Below are photo collages showing the supplies I used
(most all of which were from Stampin' Up!)
to create each of the tiny pieces of punch art.
They are mounted on 1 1/4"  and 1 3/8" squares 
that are glued onto a Whisper White card base.
Each of the card fronts has been run through the Big Shot
with a large polka dot Texturz plate or a Chevron embossing folder. 

Punch out four tiny hearts (I used the smallest on the
Heart To Heart punch)
 Crease each tiny heart down the middle.
Trim out a stem with scissors
Glue onto a small circle.

Punch out one of each of the two smallest flower shapes
from the Boho Blossoms punch.
Lightly bend and roll the smallest flower to break 
the fibers in the card stock so you can separate it into two layers. 
Add color to the center pieces to make them darker if you wish
(or cut from different colored card stock to begin with).
Scrunch them together to form a sort of cup
then glue the bottom to the center of the flower.
It can be smashed down to be mailed.
Punch a 5 petal flower from the Spring Bouquet Flower punch 
and trim with scissors to make leaves,
hand cut out a stem.

Punch a small oval from water color paper.
Lightly dampen the paper.
Color with water based markers 
(I used Pink Passion, Yo Yo Yellow and Tempting Turquoise).
Use a damp water color brush to blend the colors
 together a little bit more to 
resemble a died egg.

Another variation ( a couple of which are in the 
photo above that shows several cards) is to punch
out eggs from already colored card stock then
add details with markers. I used a white Signo
gel pen to add details to mine as well as a bit of 
diluted ink to make the egg resemble the crayon resist
eggs I made as a child. I colored the card stock
with the ink first and allowed it to dry well before
adding the details with the white gel pen. 

I took advantage of the pop in temperatures here yesterday,
since it was nearly 70 degrees I opened a couple of windows in the house.
Because it was nice enough to open the windows to help air out the house,
and knowing it was predicted to be cold and rainy all weekend, 
I decided to make my yearly batch of corned beef and cabbage a bit early.
 I think I'll go reheat some for lunch =)

And if you are wondering, I simply toss a corned beef with two cups of water 
along with the seasoning packet that is included with the meat
into a 6 quart crock pot for 8 hours on low.
I add a head of cabbage during the last 2 hours of cooking.

Thanks for looking =) 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

St. Pat's. Spring, Easter FB Timeline Cover Photos

I created new covers for my facebook timeline this month for St Patrick's and Spring.
They were created with My Memories Suite

Use coupon code  STMMMS23251 to get
$10 off your purchase of My Memories Suite V4 software
plus two extra freebies !

I rarely use facebook, but I do like to play around with my digital "crafting" programs when I find time and will make a new cover photo just because. You can create your own custom cover photos in a digital program by starting with a custom canvas size of 851 x 315 PIXELS.

Thanks for looking =) 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"Tardis" Card

Not exactly, but as soon as I saw this image from the Feeling Sentimental stamp set by Stampin' Up! that is what I (as well as many others!) thought of - and I knew I had to choose it as one of my free sets I earned during SaleABration so I could use it to make a birthday card for a friend.

Super simple to make, print out a Union Jack background (look for an image online or create one digitally with a program such as My Digital Studio 2+ from Stampin' Up!), adhere to card stock. Stamp and color the call box image, trim and layer on card base.

Image was stamped with Basic Gray ink, colored with Brilliant Blue ink and an aquapainter. I also added touches of Basic Gray ink. It was stamped on Whisper White card stock then mounted to Basic Black card stock.

Thanks for looking =)

Monday, March 11, 2013

March Days

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: 
when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.
~ Charles Dickens

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Two Bite Brownies and a Tag

*Did you remember to set your clocks forward last night?*

A cousin held a game night for the cousins and we were asked to bring a snack. Mine were simple, a bag of Pepperidge Farms Baked Naturals Cheddar Multigrain Cracker Chips (so good!) and Two Bite Brownies made with a box mix, Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownies by Ghirardelli (decadent!).

To make the Two Bite Brownies, follow the directions on the box to make brownies, but instead of placing the batter in an 8" x 8" pan as instructed, divide it up between mini muffin cups. I baked mine at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. I used a dark non stick mini muffin pan lined with mini paper muffin cup liners. I filled them about 3/4 of the way full. They puffed up during baking, nearly going over the edge of the muffin cups, but once they cooled they settled and just filled the paper muffin cup liner. My batch made 33 mini brownie bites. Those that tried them raved about them, but they were all being good and didn't over indulge so I brought several of them back home.

As I was baking them I was trying to think of a way to transport them to the get together, something other than a simple plastic container. I remembered I had a nice cookie tin leftover from the holidays that hadn't been recycled yet, burgundy with embossed designs on the lid . Then I thought, I may as well add something cute to the top - ya' never know, maybe someone will notice and want to know more about Stampin' Up!, paper crafting, etc. After all, there are going to be two weddings and a new baby in the family this year, maybe they would like me to help craft favors, invites, traditionally or digitally scrapbook something for them, so on . Then again my crafty endeavors are nothing new to them, I do make handmade Christmas cards and have mailed them each hand stamped birthday cards as well.......  regardless, I wanted to add something to the top to let them know what was inside the tin, why not make it cute.

So I quickly made a tag to attach to the top using supplies mostly from Stampin' Up! as the brownie bites were baking.

The tag was die cut using a die from the Apothecary set out of old card stock from Stampin' Up! and I don't recall the exact name. It isn't Naturals, but something along that line. It is cream with lots of teeny, tiny black speckles in it. This particular piece was a scrap that I had already stamped JOY on from a really old Stampin' Up! Christmas stamp set . Sorry, once again don't remember the name and am too lazy to dig through all of the drawers of stamps to try to find it right now especially since it isn't an image you can really see and fall in love with, would want to know the name to try to find it somewhere........... The JOY was stamped in gold ink, but it was barely visible so I never used the piece on my project . I thought it made a nice background to my handwritten label. I lightly sponged Baroque Burgundy (retired) ink around the edges, doodled a line and hand wrote with a fine point Sharpie. I made a couple of simple knot bows from Chocolate grosgrain ribbon then hot glued them on. I recently removed some buttons from an old shirt so I glued a couple of those on, too. I attached it the the metal lid with strong double stick tape.

Now, do I save the container and tag for future use or repurpose both of them ?

Thanks for looking =)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

In Colors Thank You Card

Simple Thank You card I made using the 2012-2014 In Colors from Stampin' Up!

It's difficult to tell in the photo, but I made a wavy background on a layer of Whisper White card stock with the new Borders Scoring Plate for the Simply Scored.

Each of the Thank You embellishments was made with various circle punches and In Colors card stock. The "thank you so much" was stamped in each of the five different colors as were the flowers. The stamp images from an old retired stamp set.

I made faux brads using a 1/4" circle punch to punch out small circles and applied Crystal Effects to the tops.

I included the extra embellishments in the card if the recipient would like to use them to make cards of her own.

Thanks for looking =)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Quick Need For Speed Card

Not at all happy with this quick card, I know what I wanted to do with it
to add more to it but decided not to.
I'm going to make a better version of it soon for another recipient. 
I was in a hurry to get it done and out to the mailbox before the carrier
came so I didn't add much to this card to save on time.
Plus it was a belated birthday card and I don't have any long,
single line "Belated Birthday Wishes" stamps.
Sure, I could have made something on the computer,
printed it out and trimmed to fit, but I didn't 
want to waste more time doing that. 
It never fails, when I know exactly what I want to create
on the computer, something seemingly simple, 
it gives me headaches, not printing properly.

The checkerboard frame is an old, old stamp image from
Stampin' Up!, stamped with Basic Black ink.

The car (Need For Speed stamp set, Stampin' Up!)
was stamped, water colored then cut out and 
glued on top of the sponged ground and sky. 

I masked off the bottom of the checkerboard area
and sponged on Basic Gray ink.
The top portion was sponged with Bashful Blue ink
over a home made cloud stencil.

I wish I had white textured card stock, that would 
have looked a little bit better.
I thought about using an embossing folder on the background
then decided against it thinking it would be too "busy". 

Thanks for looking =) 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Another Cat Sympathy Card

Gosh, it just doesn't seem to end - friends losing their beloved pets...........

Using some more of the new Stampin' Up! goodies I just received.

All supplies used are from Stampin' Up! unless noted otherwise.

The cat in the basket is an old image from the Meow Meow stamp set, Stampin' Up! (I'll never part with it!)
So Sorry in Basic Black ink
Lace Doily background stamp in Creamy Caramel ink
Doily die cut from Going Gray card stock
Dark Gray textured card stock, unknown
Cat and yarn ball were stamped with Basic Black ink on Whisper White card stock then watercolored with an aquapainter and ink from my ink pads
Soft Suede lightly sponged around the edges of the Caramel layer

Thanks for looking =)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Get Well Poppies

Putting some of my new goodies to use =)

 Images were stamped then water colored.
lightly sponged blue ink on the background.
The tails of the ribbon are tucked behind 
the top layer then adhered in place with Sticky Strip.

All supplies from Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted

Pleasant Poppies background stamp
Perfectly Penned = Get Well
Thoughts and Prayers stamp = "soon"colored with Basic Gray marker
Papillion Potpourri = small butterfly

Whisper White and Peach Parfait card stock

Basic Black, Basic Gray, Daffodil Delight, Peach Parfait, 
Certainly Celery, Wild Wasabi and Bashful Blue inks


Stampin' Sponge

Paper piercer

satin ribbon, retired

Thanks for looking =)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dozens Of Robins

There must have been a couple of dozen robins in the side yard today. This is just one section. With no outdoor cat any longer, the birds don't mind congregating closer to the house.

Yes, that is a little bit of snow on the ground. We received about an inch earlier in the day, but it didn't last long. There are still some spots of snow left on the ground in the shaded areas (and huge piles in parking lots) from the big storm almost two weeks ago.